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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  November 19, 2009 7:00pm-7:02pm EST

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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: and good evening, everyone. it's down now to two health care reform bills, the one the house passed two weeks ago and the one senate majority leader harry reid put out today, the first test vote will happen on saturday. reid hasn't locked up the 60 votes he needs to get it through. his bill would extend coverage to 94% of americans, the house bill, 96%. nancy cordes tells us the major difference-- cost. ( applause ). >> reporter: exuberant senate democrats hailed their long-awaited final health care bill today. like the house bill, this senate version would impose an immediate ban on insurance industry abuses, such as dropping customers with preexisting conditions. both bills would create a government-run public option for americans without insurance, though the senate version would
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allow individual states to opt out of the program if they want to. >> for the first time, we're going to allow the american consumers to be involved in a biers' market when it comes to insurance. >> reporter: compared to the house bill, the senate version is a relative bargain. $848 billion over 10 years, compared to more than $1& trillion. that's partly because the house bill expands medicaid more dramatically, and provides more generous tax credits to low-income americans to help them buy insurance. >> the key difference between the senate bill and the house bill is the senate bill really focuses more on controlling the cost of health care. that is its strength. the key focus of the house bill is really making sure that every individual has security, that people can afford their medical expenses. >> reporter: to help pay for reform, the senate bill would heavily tax high-cost insurance plans, impose a 5% tax on elective cosmetic surgery, and slightly raise medicare payroll taxes for high-earning americans.
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the house bill, on the other hand, levies a hefty 5% surtax on millionaires. the senate bill did does not go as far as the house did to restrict the use of public funds to pay for abortions. that will set up a fight down the road. for now, though, senate democratic leaders appear